More maps from the University of Chicago Map Collection have been posted to the Web:
- Before and After the Fire: Chicago in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s
- Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Latin American Cities
Previously: Chicago Maps.
More maps from the University of Chicago Map Collection have been posted to the Web:
Previously: Chicago Maps.
Garmin and MapQuest are up to something. The MapQuest blog says that, “coming in April, we’ll be adding a simple drop-down link to our search results pages that allow you to download destinations or itineraries to your Garmin GPS device, and take them with you on the road.” Syncing desktop and mobile data has been the norm for PDAs and smartphones for years; this makes complete sense. GPS Review reports that syncing will be via USB — and also that something similar will be coming to Google Maps.
Five years ago today, I wrote the first entry on this blog.
I started The Map Room because I was unemployed and needed something to focus my interest and attention while I went about the dreary job of job hunting. I also looked on it as an opportunity to learn more about maps, a subject that has fascinated me since childhood but about which I knew surprisingly little: I took history rather than geography in university; it never occurred to me to brush up on my cartography. In the five years since, I think I’ve gone some way towards making up for that mistake.
It turns out, 2,250 blog entries later, that you can learn quite a bit about something by blogging about it. It forces you to figure out what interests you.
The Nokia-Navteq merger is also the subject of a European Commission probe; the Commission announced Friday that it had “serious doubts” about how the merger would affect competition: Chicago Tribune (via Slashgeo), Reuters (via Engadget).
The art of Elisabeth Lecourt includes clothing made from maps. Bloesem writes, “These clothes are made out of maps from Paris, New York, London and other places, of course you can’t wear them, but hanging them as art on your wall would be great, wouldn’t it!” Via La Cartoteca.
At right: “Fasciolariidae,” © Elisabeth Lecourt 2005.
Maps: Finding Our Place in the World isn’t the only map exhibition the Walters Art Museum is involved with; Beyond the Compass, Beyond the Square is an art exhibition in Mount Vernon Place that “features contemporary art by 10 emerging MICA artists that is interactive, explores new and abstract ways of understanding historical mapping concepts, and reflects myriad approaches to mapping and way-finding.” Baltimore City Paper has a review.
Xinhua: “The Chinese government is to crack down on illegal online map and geographical information websites, claiming they threaten state security, said an official of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM) on Tuesday.” Crimes perpetrated by evildoers range from publishing sensitive information that poses a security risk to showing Taiwan as a country. Via All Points Blog.
A digitized version of Willem and Joan Blaeu’s six-volume Toonneel des Aerdrycks, ofte Nieuwe Atlas (1659), produced for the city of Leiden, is available online from the Leiden Regional Archives; click here for the map viewer.
Christie’s is auctioning two of Willem Blaeu’s globes — one terrestrial, one celestial. They’re expected to fetch €200,000-300,000. The lot information has more detail.
A three-part, step-by-step guide to geotagging from Uncornered Market, starting with a Sony GPS-CS1 (see previous entry) and going through a number of software packages to arrive at uploaded photos that have already been geotagged:
Over at the Geotagging Flickr group, Michael Kirk has posted a review of still another geotagging accessory for a digital SLR camera, Solmeta’s DP-GPS N1, which works with high-end Nikon and compatible digital SLRs (i.e., D200 and up, Fuji S5 — anything with the 10-pin data port), embedding geographical coordinates directly into the images’ EXIF data. (The similar DP-GPS C1 is compatible with more cameras and seems to be a traditional GPS data logger, adding the coordinates later via software.)
Two new mapping-related blogs, both kind of technical:
Meanwhile, I’ve updated the blog listing in the directory: any blog that has gone offline, or has not had a new post in the past six months, has been removed. (Most have just faded away, rather than closing outright as Google Karten has just done.)
Geophoto has reached version 2: MacNN reports that it now features simpler tagging, “now sports closer integration with iLife ‘08 and .Mac Web Galleries, and can import photos from Aperture and Lightroom”; at $25, it’s also half its previous price. MacGPS Pro 7.6 includes support for Garmin’s Colorado series of GPS receivers.
Dawn Gavin writes in to tell us about an exhibition she’s curating at the Maryland State Art Council’s James Backas Gallery, in conjunction with the Baltimore Festival of Maps: Look Now Look All Around.
Inherent within the construction of a map are the illusions of both stasis and veracity. Given the discrepancies that exist between the map and what it represents, we are never exactly where we believe ourselves to be. “Look Now Look All Around” features work by Maryland artists who utilize maps and related systems of spatial orientation, organization and demarcation to reveal what might ordinarily be invisible or overlooked.
Until June 13. At right, “GPS, Amsterdam” by Julie Jankowski.
After all the anticipation and waiting, I was afraid the exhibit wouldn’t live up to my expectations. But it did. The exhibit totally blew my mind. Looking at the maps online is cool. Seeing them first-hand, all up close and personal is very, very cool. …
The whole thing made me a little dizzy. I wasn’t sure if I should spend my time looking at the HUGE Coronelli Celestial globes or gazing into the heavens of the Hubble images. It was total map overload, so much in fact that I think I will have to go back and see it again. I mean what if I missed something!
“Flying Cameras Map America for War”, an article from the May 1939 issue of Popular Science, has been reprinted on the always-fascinating Modern Mechanix blog. The article looks at the state of the art with respect to aerial photography just before the Second World War, with a focus on the use of stereo photography to map terrain.
Digital Earth Blog has an early review: “A quick glance seems to show that they have more cities than Google, but not by a wide margin. … Assuming their data is accurate, the clear winner appears to be MapQuest. Google has much of the highway in gray (”no data”), while MapQuest is showing data for everything. In addition, MapQuest has the clickable icons so you know exactly what the problem is.” But the lack of a mobile version is a dealbreaker: “For me, however, 95% of my Google Maps traffic usage is from my cell phone while I’m on the road. … As far as I know, MapQuest has nothing to compare to that.”
The Planetary Society’s blog reports that the International Astronomical Union has approved new names for features on Saturn’s moon Dione, and provides an equatorial map with the new names added to spaceprobe imagery.
But what also caught my attention was the entry’s link to the USGS’s Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, which provides such interesting information as descriptor names for various planetary features and what those features are named after for each planet (craters on Mercury are named after deceased artists; everything on Venus is named after a goddess of something or other).
(Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI; mosaic by Steve Albers; map by Jason Perry.)
An article in the San Antonio Express-News about the privacy implications of Google Maps Street View — there was a flurry of media coverage about this last year, so they’re definitely playing catchup — and the means available to get yourself removed from the street-level imagery. The article asks whether the “Streisand Effect” — whereby the attempt to remove something in the name of privacy ends up backfiring — is applicable here. The conclusion is, not so much. (Mirrored here for some reason.)
As an experiment, I’ve set up a Facebook page for this site.
On a similarly crass and commercial note, I’ve set up a network on Feedburner for map blogs. Map bloggers who use Feedburner to produce their RSS feeds who want in on it should drop me a line; it’s basically for in-feed advertising purposes, though.
Tom Patterson of Shaded Relief wrote in to announce his new project, a physical map of the world. As was the case with his relief map of the United States, it’s free and freely available in several formats, including a Zoomify-powered online version. The map’s home page also discusses the techniques behind the map — essentially, it’s an attempt to do digitally what to date has still been done best using manual art techniques. Of note is the fact that the map uses a unique projection, developed using new software:
A unique feature of the Physical Map of the World is its projection. Rather than using a traditional projection, such as the Miller or Robinson, or the Winkel Tripel now favored by National Geographic, it uses an entirely new projection created with Flex Projector, the first-ever software for designing custom map projections. The Natural Earth projection is a pseudocylindrical projection designed specifically for presenting Natural Earth II environmental data (discussed next), from which it takes its name. The Natural Earth projection combines characteristics of the Robinson and Kavraiskiy VII projections and compares well to them in regard to map distortion.
Flex Projector is a cross-platform Java application; the current alpha version is 0.31.
If you couldn’t make it to the Chicago Festival, this is your last chance to see Maps: Finding Our Place in the World; according to the companion book, which I’m reading right now for an upcoming review, Baltimore is the only other place this particular exhibition will be seen. I can’t make it, so I’ll have to make do with the book, but I’m interested in hearing from readers who go.
To recap, here is The Map Room’s coverage of Chicago’s Festival of Maps over the past year: Chicago’s Festival of Maps; Festival of Maps Now Open; Festival of Maps Update: Book, KML; Festival of Maps: Field Museum Exhibit Virtual Gallery; Festival of Maps: Field Museum Roundup; Festival of Maps Reviews; CSM on the Festival of Maps, Map Art and Books; Washington Post on the Festival of Maps; Festival of Maps: WSJ Review, Newberry Exhibits; “Mapping the Universe” at the Adler Planetarium; Blogging the Festival of Maps.
The show presents the work of eight artists who make maps of one kind or another. Some use representations of the earth, on a flat surface, to broach issues of globalization and corporate multinationalism, while others plot information to create readable, ordered representations that communicate complex ideas about a person, theme or place. These, too, are maps of a sort.
At right, Adam Henry’s “A Few Things Have Happened #4,” a globe made from a crumpled world map.
Wagner, 41, seeks to interpret natural and celestial forces in her work — particle physics, astronomy, string theory — and the inherent duality of beauty and violence within them. Often, she incorporates hints of star maps and other cartographic elements, as well as blobs and swirls of microscopic action.
In her paintings, nature is sometimes sublime but more often destructive. The artwork seems to act, however subtly, as a reminder that the world is born from such chaos.
Until March 29. At right, “Particle Latitude” (2008).
In January, Hitwise reported on the relative market shares of the online map sites. MapQuest continued to lead with more than 50 percent of the market, with Google Maps second at 22 percent, and Yahoo and Microsoft trailing.
But, Hitwise says, Google is making gains, and MapQuest is declining: “A year ago, MapQuest had more than five times (429%) more U.S. visits than Google Maps. Last week [early January], that gap was down to 126%. … Traffic to MapQuest has remained flat year on year and is down 20% in the past 6 months. Google Maps traffic is up 135% year on year and is up 7% in the past 6 months.”
Those of us who live and breathe the Web like oxygen are, I think, surprised that MapQuest still has staying power; to hear us talk, the newer sites overtook it years ago. Via All Points Blog.
Meanwhile, and more recently, a ChangeWave survey conducted in February of the U.S. market gave Garmin a 56 percent share of the consumer GPS market, up four points from the previous month. Magellan was at 12 percent; TomTom at nine percent. The corporate market share numbers are similar.
Garmin, says the survey’s blog, “has now achieved near total domination of the U.S. marketplace,” but demand for consumer electronics is declining overall, so Garmin’s market dominance may only be a silver lining in a rather ominous cloud. Also via All Points Blog.
“A new golden age of cartography has suddenly dawned, everywhere. We can all be map-makers now, navigating across a landscape of ideas that the cartographers of the past could never have imagined,” writes Ben Macintyre in his Times column. “Where maps once described mountains, forests and rivers, now they depict the contours of human existence from quite different perspectives: maps showing the incidence of UFOs, speed cameras or the density of doctors in any part of the world.” He sees in amateur mapmaking a return to a personal style of cartography that existed before 19th-century rationalism took over: “The boom in amateur mapping … marks a return to the earlier way of imagining the world when maps were used to tell stories and impose ideas, to interpret the world and not simply to describe its physical character.”
When electoral boundaries are redrawn in Canada, two things are certain: one, rural areas will lose seats as a result of their declining population and urban areas will concomitantly gain seats; and two, rural representatives will complain mightily about it, bringing up intangible appeals to fairness (e.g., geographic area represented) to counter the basic principle of equal representation by population. See for example, the cases of Quebec and British Columbia; something must be in the air — must be the census results? — because these stories were filed only a day apart.
I suppose a web-based standalone version of Google Sky was inevitable, once the Google Maps API supported it, and now it’s here. Highlights include infrared, microwave and historical-map layers with opacity controls and a series of image collections from space telescopes linked from the bottom. (I should note, as I often do, that the controls don’t work perfectly in Safari, but worked fine in Firefox.)
I have some quibbles, some more serious than others.
While it’s simple to use, it does have its limitations: it can be frustrating trying to have a simple look around, and can be very hard to orient yourself at higher zooms (though it is nice to have your cursor’s declination and right ascension shown at all times, it would be more helpful to know, for example, what constellation you’re in). I still find the patchwork imagery a little less than satisfying, though I imagine it’s not easy to bridge between a high-resolution photo of, say, the Carina Nebula and lower-resolution imagery of the surrounding starfield. Standalone planetarium software like Stellarium is easier to navigate and the sky is more seamless, but at the cost of the integrated stellar imagery. The sky tours are a bit of a letdown: Backyard Astronomy is just the Messier objects, which are Northern-Hemisphere-only; it’d be nice to see some of the other, best-of-the-NGC catalogues out there. I was also disappointed that the Solar System only shows one planet at a time.
But, as Google has shown, everything they do is a work in progress. Having Google Sky on the Web is a natural progression, and I’m hopeful that it will improve. And, of course, it will support mashups, which may well make all the difference.
Baltimore’s Festival of Maps opens Sunday and runs through June 8. One epicentre will be the Walters Art Museum, which will host Maps: Finding Our Place in the World and three other exhibitions, including one on Hubble telescope imagery that just sounds cool. Here’s an editorial from last Saturday’s Baltimore Sun about the event. Via You Are Here, Hon (Her Majesty of Maps is Baltimore-based: brace yourselves!) and Cartophilia.
Previously: An Exhibition Roundup.
Update, March 11: More coverage from the Baltimore Sun’s art critic.
Update, March 14: Even more coverage from About.com Baltimore.
Don Young writes to tell us about the Challenger Map’s new website, which means that my old links are now broken. “This is a renewed site from the Challenger Map Foundation updating the status of the map and the further plans to restore the map to it’s former glory, then find it a new home for all to visit.”
Mike Pegg notes that despite the fact that it’s been a few months since the Google Maps API supported Moon, Mars and Sky, “we have not been inundated with Google Maps mash-ups that have taken advantage of these new astronomical features.” He gives some examples. As for me, I can see the utility of using the space tiles as a way to log one’s astronomical observations or astrophotography; things will get interesting when My Maps support is added. (It hasn’t already been added and I’ve missed it, right?)
MapQuest has relaunched its mapping APIs, calling them the MapQuest Platform: Free Edition. I’m not exactly sure how this works: MapQuest has had a free API along with commercial partnerships; I don’t know if this is meant to replace both, or is simply a newer, better iteration of existing free APIs. Also, note that MapQuest has a developer blog. Via All Points Blog.
Update, March 10: Digital Earth Blog has this to say: “All in all, it’s a very nice upgrade. However, it still falls far short of the power of any other other three platforms. As a developer, I have absolutely no interest in using them for building a mashup, as Google already handles it far better and I’m already more familiar with their tools.”
Reuters (via the Washington Post): “Google Inc. has complied with a request by the Pentagon to remove some online images from its street-level map service because they pose a security threat to U.S. military bases, military and company officials said on Thursday. … The images that worry the Pentagon include views of bases, including security at the entrances to those installations.” All Points Blog, Infonaut.
FireEagle is a new Yahoo service. (In beta, of course.) It’s a user-geolocation service with privacy controls that can tie into other applications; think of it as a Twitter for geographic coordinates. It’s one of those things, like RSS, whose real usefulness becomes apparent only when other things are built on top of it. Andrew Turner has a post about it; see also O’Reilly Radar. Invitation-only so far, so I haven’t played with it yet; Richard has a screenshot.
If, like me, you’re a Mac user with an interest in geotagging, you must drop everything right now and read Bruce McKenzie’s guide to geotagging photos on the Mac; a more comprehensive guide to the subject I can’t imagine. Via Richard.
The ESRI Mapping Center has some guidelines for the design of inset maps.
Topographic map symbols for historic topographic maps: “Presented here is a collection of symbols used on USGS Topographic Maps printed from the late 1890s. The styles of the symbols have changed dramatically since this time, and the beginning of their history is illustrated here. We refer to sheets in this style as Generation One or First Generation topographic sheets. These sheets were printed in black, brown, and blue inks and used lines to fill areas such as rivers, lakes and coastal areas.” Via MAPS-L.
Previously: Nautical Map Symbols.
We’ve seen books come out that were based on the map holdings of the Library of Congress, Library and Archives Canada, and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; now it’s the turn of the National Library of Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the publication of Australia in Maps, “a book of 52 great pieces of cartography from the library’s collection of more than 1 million rarities, charts and aerial photographs. … The [library’s] curator of maps, Martin Woods, concedes that the book — begun by his predecessor, Maura O’Connor, and more than 25 years in the making — barely scratches the surface of the library’s collection. ‘But it’s a start, an important part of the process of revealing more of our treasures, of our great stories, to the public.’”
More on the National Library’s map collection — the display area for which, the Herald reports, is “now so small that fewer than 10 items can be shown at once.”
Transit Maps of the World
by Mark Ovenden
Penguin, 2007. Paperback, 144 pp. ISBN-13 978-0-14-311265-5
Billed on its cover as “the world’s first collection of every urban train map on Earth,” this is, in fact, the second revised edition of this book, which first came out in 2003 as Metro Maps of the World. (Maybe that was the first collection.) Even so, Transit Maps of the World does live up to its billing in that it provides reproductions of every urban subway system map — I didn’t count them — on the planet. It would have been valuable enough if it had simply collected all the system maps, one to a page, but author Mark Ovenden is more ambitious than that.
Transit Maps of the World is interested in transit system maps from a design perspective: the focus is not on the development of transit systems, but on the evolution of their maps. The book is organized accordingly, split into six zones with decreasing levels of detail: Zone 1 covers those systems with long histories and several revisions in map style, with each city getting between two to four pages; Zone 6 collect those relatively new systems that have had no more than one system map, and these maps are reproduced as tiny images. Given the focus on map design, it may also come as no surprise to learn that Ovenden’s interest is in the change from topographical, geographically accurate map designs to angular, Beck-style diagrams: the text approves of such changes when they occur, and disapproves when they fail to do so or change back.
Those interested in transit systems for their own sake, or who have an interest in more recent systems, may well be disappointed by the focus on map design or the short shrift given to some systems, as will people looking for maps of other aspects of urban transit, such as suburban commuter rail networks bus systems, which are outside this book’s terms of reference. But, as usual, I’m quibbling. Map design is a fascinating subject, and the mere fact of being able to compare so many designs from so many cities is instructive. And, even through Ovenden’s design lens, this book offers a window on virtually every major city in the world through its urban train system; as travellers, these systems are frequently our first real encounter with these cities, so it’s a fitting starting point.
To begin with, here is the video of the TED talk introducing WorldWide Telescope:
Reactions, many of which make explicit comparisons to Google Sky:
Bad Astronomy: “This does look very cool. It’s much like Google Sky, but from Microsoft’s direction. Google tends to build software that allows people to add to it, while Microsoft tends to produce finished products. Both have their advantages, though in this case it’s hard to see which will go where. Right now there isn’t a huge amount of info out on the WWT; everyone’s talking about how cool it is, but at the moment we’re light on specifics.” See also Stuart Goldman at Sky and Telescope.
Ogle Earth notes Google Sky’s shortcomings, which Microsoft can exploit. But, Stefan says, “I’d prefer to have seen Microsoft add smooth zooming to a 2D web app and turn it into a true universal skybrowser rather than once again serve Windows users only via a standalone app — and we know it’s possible; look at the zooming in the web-based Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D.”
“So far I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen of WWT. There was nothing I saw in the demonstration of WWT at TED that Google Sky doesn’t already do,” writes Frank on Google Earth Blog. “To be fair, watching a 5 minute demonstration isn’t a way to make a fair comparison. I have spoken to some folks who have seen WWT up close and asked them how it compares to Google Sky. It is said the interface of WWT is very slick and the graphics perform very well. In demonstrations it could switch databases much more quickly than Sky (but, the demos may not have been with data streaming over the network). Some of the imagery in WWT has been better processed than Sky. Google’s Sky has a problem due to it being an extension of Google Earth — the ‘poles’ are not handled well.”
Both Frank and Stefan argue that the eventual nod will go to the app that allows users to annotate and share content. Which will be the more hackable app?
MacNN reviews Meander, a Mac software application that, since we last saw it, has reached version 2.1.2 and has moved to another Web site and publisher. From the review: “In essence, Meander is a basic photo-editing program with a section of code that calculates the scale distance of a line. … I think the program’s utility is limited to off-road activities, such as hiking and biking. Laying out a route on-road is far easier using Google Maps, in which you can click and drag routes. The additional features not addressed in the Instructions or Notes could be very useful, once they work better. Ilene thinks this program has great potential, but is just not ready for distribution yet.”
The mapping applications for Facebook that appeared after the social-networking site opened up its API to developers generally sucked, in my opinion: they were rather lame user-plotted maps that didn’t do anything with data from your social network, which is the whole point, I think, of sites like Facebook. What I was hoping to see was something like Friends Density, which plots your friends on a heat map based on their regional networks. Not so precise as to reveal too much about your friends’ locations (that’s my map illustrated in this post, for example), but enough to map, in broad terms, the spatial aspects of your social network. Via All Points Blog.
I’ve had a few items cluttering up my to-do list that relate to Apple, the Mac and Mac software, and the iPhone/iPod since Macworld; time to stop procrastinating.
iPhones and iPods. The iPhone’s mapping application got a major upgrade at Macworld, and is now available on the iPod touch as well. Of particular interest was its location-finding feature that uses, rather than GPS, triangulation based on cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. MacLife tested this feature and came away reasonably impressed: “While driving, the iPhone found my location within a quarter mile about 75 percent of the time. A friend tried it in Spain and Germany and was surprised how well it worked abroad.” Via TUAW.
It does really raise the question of how badly GPS is needed if precise location-finding is not strictly necessary.
Podmaps patent application. In the same vein, and meanwhile, the Internets are puzzling over Apple’s patent application for something called “podmaps”; we’re all a bit bewildered, but here’s Electronista’s take:
Describing the creation and management of map-based media, the invention would let users subscribe to map information in the same way they do with audio or video podcasts. The implementation would see an application or service turn map data into a series of audio and video elements based on location; driving directions and other maps could be spoken aloud with a view of the map at that location as a guide. Music, ads, and other content could play in between key points, with the amount of content in between calculated by the length of the expected trip.
Project Bobcat. The other big mapping news from Macworld was supposed to be Garmin’s Project Bobcat (see previous entry), which turned out to be a new version of waypoint, track and route management software, rather than something completely new and totally earth-shattering. Here’s the press release, Garmin’s Mac page, and a page from which the pre-release version of Bobcat can be downloaded. Intel-compatible and usable with any USB-based Garmin gadget, Bobcat was announced as a pre-release version, with a production version that promises “additional features … such as route editing and find by address function” by the end of the year. (We’ve heard that before.)
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Stefan notes that the Leopard version of Preview and, now, Aperture 2 both recognize latitude/longitude embedded in an image’s EXIF data: Preview shows a small map in an info window; Aperture opens a Google Maps link. Spotlight also supports searching by coordinates; Andrew Turner demonstrates and writes up a little application that plots search results on a map.
In These Times has a wide-ranging article on “the new cartographers” — i.e., the popular use of new mapping technologies.
For some, mapping has become a vibrant new language—a way to interpret the world, find like-minded folks and make fresh, sometimes radical, perspectives visible. For others, maps portend threats to privacy and freedom of movement. …
In many ways, these mapping tools are re-locating us as the center of our personal universes. We no longer go to maps to find out where we are. Instead, we tell maps where we are and they form around us on the fly, a sensation that can be comforting or stifling. After all, while finding the right map can orient you, having dozens can threaten to tip the signal-to-noise ratio toward cacophony.
On balance, though, the democratization of mapping and visualization tools generates possibilities for self-expression and social action.
Via All Points Blog.
When last we heard about Chris Jesty’s revision of Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, nearly three years ago, volume one (of seven) was just about to be published. Now five volumes have been published, the Cumberland News reports in its look at how Jesty revised a trail-guide classic and the differences (not all of which the review approves of) between the revision and the original.
The Sunday Express on how the delivery of foreign publications in India is delayed if they have the temerity to publish a map of India that does not conform to the officially recognized boundaries:
Every edition which carries a map of India — particularly one depicting the Indo-Pak border — is delayed by at least two days. The reason: a special cell of the Customs department stamps each map in every single copy imported with the message: “The external boundaries of India as depicted are neither accurate nor authentic.” The ugly sarkari blue stamp impression is often illegible.
Via Ogle Earth.
Very Spatial points to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s U.S. Atlas of Renewable Resources. Sue writes: “The atlas (which is still under development) includes a web mapping interface that show the geographic distribution of wind, biomass, geothermal and solar resources, and the NREL site also has data available for download.”
On today’s edition of Weekend America, professor and writer Mark Monmonier is interviewed about mapping errors, beginning with GPS navigation errors — blame the maps, not the GPS signals — and moving on to what, the interviewer asks, the three biggest errors in mapmaking have been.
Reuters reports that the European Commission has sent a statement of objections to TomTom over its proposed takeover of Tele Atlas. This is not an outright rejection; TomTom now has until May 5 to offer additional remedies to assuage EU concerns that the deal is anticompetitive. Via Engadget.
Previously: EU Investigates TomTom-Tele Atlas Deal.
The Moon’s polar regions are not easily observed from the Earth (or from non-polar Lunar orbit), but NASA has obtained high-resolution radar maps of the Moon’s south pole by using the Goldstone Solar System Radar in the Mojave Desert. The maps are 50 times more detailed than the one-kilometre-resolution imagery from the Clementine spacecraft, but will in turn be made obsolete by upcoming one-metre imagery from the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter, scheduled to launch later this year. Via Slashdot.